In my discipleship group we talked about what it means to have a Sabbath. Even though I’ve been a Christian for twenty years, the notion of a Sabbath is daunting and undesirable. But several weeks ago, in an attempt to have some kind of Sabbath, I began abstaining from Facebook on Sundays.
For some this wouldn’t be hard, but it was for me. But it has also been freeing.
When I took a picture of our family at Lambeau Field and couldn’t post it, I became grateful. Grateful I didn’t have to spend time posting a picture I looked good in or thinking of a comment that was witty and not boastful. When I couldn’t post pictures of my kids and their friends decorating our Christmas tree one Sunday, I remembered a friend who didn’t have the room, time or finances for a tree and I became thankful I wouldn’t make my friend feel sad, jealous or otherwise. I also realized I spend too much mental energy on social media that I could spend on other things, people and time with the Lord.
Then there’s my blog.
Readership on my blog has recently dropped by about fifteen hundred hits. Although God is teaching me how to hear what He says about me more loudly and frequently than the defeating and demeaning lies I usually tell myself about myself (I’m a bad writer, I’ve nothing to say, etc.), I noticed something. When my readership dropped, I began re-reading my posts and perseverating on my blog statistics and comments (or lack thereof). I began questioning, debating and contemplating what I could do, control and change. I prayed about discontinuing my blog. And that’s when I realized something else that has made me decide to take a Social Media Sabbatical, indefinitely.
I’m finding my worth, defining my purpose and getting life from stats, hits and likes.
One of the reasons I joined my discipleship group last year was to quit people pleasing. Although I’ve learned so much and come a long way, I realized I’m still trying to please people instead of a Person.
I don’t want to leave social media and I’m not going to completely. I’ll be putting my blog posts on my public Instagram and Facebook Blog pages. My son is a senior, so some lasts will be posted, too. But I’m tired. Tired of wishing I’d quit caring what people think of me but constantly checking Facebook. Tired of spending hours on my phone wishing I was spending with my family, writing or doing something else that had eternal value, but not doing anything to make that happen.
Good-bye Facebook. I’ll miss you, but God doesn’t call us to obedience to torture us. Out of His love, He calls us to things because He wants better for us. Remembering that is already making my sabbatical easier, purpose-filled and more freeing.
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